[After Words]

First Love

for José Angel Valente

You were my first love,
or maybe the second --
but came on so strong you
roiling and rushing,
hurling and bursting,
          carried and flung me
          and caught me
I loved you,
I knew you.
          How well then
I thought then I knew you!

and comforts so easily
come by, so full throated
whispered and shouted and sung by
my multi-tongued lover
of swift rushing

kisses were weapons
and weapons were wishes

for long morning languor,
of night following day
all emptied of anger.

          As with all lovers:
ask little give mountains.

          No longer.
Where did you go to

What changed you?
What spun you so
            far from cognition?

What manner of men, whose house
do you live in? Whose lips
do you fall from; whose tongue
now you dance on? Whose throat
do you hide in, dressing your
lies up in nakedness; or whose ears
do you hang from and never go in?

Oh Words! Oh love of a lifetime!
Oh pustules of madness! Oh stench of dead neurons.

Do you remember
our farewell encounter
where I made the vow?

Words I abjure you,
I love you no longer....

...Words? are you listening?
Why don't you answer?

"First Love", © Will Kirkland

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